Innovation and Creativity
The objective of Team ʻŌpeʻapeʻa is to expose middle school students to bat research and provide experiences that elevate connections to the ʻāina and each other.
The approach that we used to engage students was to make them feel like they were a part of something different and special. We developed a Team ‘Ōpeʻapeʻa logo, mascot, and handshake. Team building and having fun learning together is our priority. We created challenges that enhanced academic competence, encouraged competition, and boosted student engagement. While our team rapport was being solidified we were priming the team for authentic learning experiences involving real world science. The science included units on 1) bats and bat biology, 2) the scientific method that included outdoor exercises, 3) how to use Google Earth to record and locate data, 4) the use of bat detectors to confirm locations of bat activity (in the evening with parents), 5) mist netting bats in a local city park (in the evening with parents), 6) using equipment to study bats and the development of hypotheses, 7) the selection of study sites, 8) the collection of data, 9) the processing and analysis of data, 10) writing the storyline, and 11) making a poster to be submitted at a conference or public setting (e.g., public library).
"My experience with bat club has been awesome. Before, I had no desire to know more about bats. I thought I didn't need more information. I wasn't really an outdoor person either. Now, Bat Club has made me want to know even more about bats, and also to explore the outdoors. In conclusion, Bat Club has been a life changing experience."
"My time in the bat club was interesting and very informative. I enjoyed the hands-on activities we did together as a club and putting science to real practice. Brad and Kristen were very helpful in sharing their knowledge with us, assisting us in making our hypotheses, and letting us use cool equipment to collect data. They even accompanied us on a camp out to collect data and stayed up all night and Brad was seeing colors. We had a lot of fun."
"What motivates me to continue being a part of Team ʻŌpeʻapeʻa is that I want to continue doing research on the Hawaiian hoary bat because it is really cute and I want to know more about it."
“What I like most about Team ʻŌpeʻapeʻa is that we were able to learn, be out in the open, and constantly involved with activities.”
“What motivates me to continue being a part of Team ʻŌpeʻapeʻa is being able to have that chance to learn about and help our native bat. It also helps bring students together and bond.”
“What motivates me the most is being able to be outdoors, learn about our only native mammal, the Hawaiian Hoary bat, and to make sure that they do not become extinct.
“I was interested in learning about the Native Hawaiian bat. I didn't know there were bats here on Maui. There was a lot of activity on campus and it was exciting to see the bats flying.”